Bringing once again brisk, gritty and purely amateur brand of basketball, the National Athletics Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities commences its 21st season on 23 October at the Cuneta Astrodome.
NAASCU, which carved its own niche among school leagues, will fire off the season with the basketball competitions but will also feature volleyball, beach volleyball, track and field, table tennis, taekwondo, badminton, chess, billiards and cheering competitions.
“Our league is mandated to help sports developments,” said NAASCU president Dr. Ernesto Jay Adalem during yesterday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum sponsored by San Miguel Corporation, Philippine Sports Commission, MILO, Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.
“We promote amateurism and avoid commercialization among our young athletes.”
The league has a large platform to accomplish those goals as the 10 member teams have between 170,000 to 200,000 student population.
Adalem noted that in a previous opening rite before the pandemic, the league managed to gather more than 15,000 spectators which was the most number at any given time at the Astrodome.
The 10 member schools are St. Clare College of Caloocan, New Era University, Enderun Colleges, Our Lady of Fatima University, AMA University, Philippine Christian University, Manuel L. Quezon University, City University of Pasay, Holy Angel University and University of Makati.
St. Clare starts its title defense of the basketball championship against NEU in the first game shortly after the 8 a.m. opening ceremony.
CUP battles Umak in the second; PCU squares off with HAU in the third; MLQU locks horns with AMA in the fourth; before Enderun collides with OLFU in the fifth game.
The new season will also mark the return of the Juniors and Women’s Divisions which were last played in 2019. The Saint Clare Junior Saints and Enderun Lady Titans are the defending champions albeit with totally new rosters.